The world to me was black and white, colorless. My body was numb and so was my mind. I was a walking time bomb; filled with all the concoctions that society stirred up and filled my juvenile brain with.
Television only showed the skinny European gal with the silky straight hair who lacked melanin but where was the girl who looked like me? Were there any girls who looked like me?
Society “taught” me at a young age that conforming to European ideals was the only means to be considered beautiful. As an adolescent, I refused to wear my natural hair, and I couldn’t stand that I was 10 pounds over what I should’ve been.
Meanwhile, I was trying to find myself within a man and ended up losing myself. Our relationship was like fire mixed with gasoline — the longer we stayed together the worse I got as an individual. We eventually ended it and it tore me apart but I continuously allowed him to come back into my life without any questioning.
I came to a point where I felt absolutely nothing, but the persona I put on said otherwise. I lost all hope. Nobody realized I was missing and I could not talk to anyone about it. I had no one to run to. I was all alone. Depression and heartbreak were my greatest frenemies. Two friends I hoped wouldn’t be there but the only two I had.
It wasn’t until recently that euphoria became the friend I wanted and needed. January of last year, I began courting with someone else but I quickly ended it because I couldn’t stomach the thought of placing my heart into the hands of another individual again. I stood in the mirror looking at myself and couldn’t recognize who I was. My physical being was there but where was my spiritual being? It was gone.
That day was the day I realized something — I must find who I am and I must begin loving myself. I made it my mission to find myself so that I am able to love myself. I have completed that mission. I have come to find myself, and I have come love my melanin, the curls on my head and the curves on my body.
Here’s the point: you must find who you are in this world to be able to properly navigate and overcome adversity. Without self-identifying, how are you expected to truly be successful? Once you are able to find yourself, you have the ability to truly love yourself. You cannot love anyone without first loving yourself. Successful relationships stem from self-identity and self-love. Without these two, overcoming obstacles and facing adversity is like trying to pull yourself out of quicksand. You will only continue to sink.
So find yourself and love yourself: you owe it to yourself.